Essentialism And The Power of Choice

Essentialism

“It is the ability to choose which makes us human”—Madeline L’Engle

Below are a few take aways from Greg Mckeown’s book “Essentialism”.

 

  • Choice is not a thing. Our options may be things, but a choice is an action.
  • We may not always have control over our options, but we always have control over how we choose them.

THE INVINCIBLE POWER OF CHOOSING TO CHOOSE

  • For too long we have overemphasized the external aspect of choices (our options) and underemphasized our internal ability to choose (our actions)
  • Options (things) can be taken away, while our core ability to choose (free will) cannot be.

HOW DO WE FORGET OUR ABILITY TO CHOOSE

  • The ability to choose cannot be taken away or even given away—it can only be forgotten.
  • Martin Seligman and Steve Maier—discovered “learned helplessness” in a series of experiments.
  • Though the experiments were on German Sherpherds, humans can learn (choose) helplessness.
  • We need to develop a heightened awareness of our ability to choose.
  • William James once wrote, “my first act of free will shall be to believe in free will.”
  • When we forget our ability to choose, we learn to be helpless. Drip by drip we allow our power to be taken away until we end up becoming a function of other people’s choices.
  • We need to not only recognize the power of choice, but celebrate it.

First Things First

CS Lewis first things

I want to thank Joshua Medcalf and Jamie Gilbert from Train To Be Clutch for keeping this quote from C.S. Lewis in front of me.  The more I read it, the more I understand and see it work out.  We are sharing this quote with our team today along with the following:

HOW TO CLOSE THE GAP FROM WHERE

I’M AT TO WHERE I WANT TO BE:

AS A PERSON,

AS A STUDENT,

AS A PLAYER?

HOW WILL I USE THE 86,400 SECONDS I’VE BEEN GIVEN TODAY?

Only Just A Minute

1 minute picture

ONLY JUST A MINUTE

A common word and theme we have been intentional about with our team and staff since this spring has been–“CHOICES”.

After going through some notebooks and realized how appropriate the following poem is for our “CHOICES”–

I HAVE ONLY JUST A MINUTE,

ONLY SIXTY SECONDS IN IT.

FORCED UPON ME, CAN’T REFUSE IT.

DIDN’T SEEK IT, DIDN’T CHOOSE IT.

BUT IT’S UP TO ME TO USE IT.

I MUST SUFFER IF I LOSE IT.

GIVE ACCOUNT IF I ABUSE IT.

JUST A TINY LITTLE MINUTE,

BUT ETERNITY IS IN IT

–Anonymous